The simple secret to attracting all the help you will ever need

How good are you at attracting the help, goodwill and cooperation of others?  If you think there may be room for improvement, this post is just what you need!

Today’s post is about one of the cornerstones of business success, something called reciprocity.  Here’s a very, very basic explanation of how reciprocity works in business and life generally:

By helping other people, we begin the process of giving and open the channel for receiving.  This giving, starts a positive cycle where we not only make more friends and feel better about ourselves, but ALSO encourage others, without asking, to want to help us too; (to reciprocate.)

Reciprocity in action

Over the past 48 hours, I have experienced reciprocity in action here on the blog.  I have had people from all over the world, help me get the word out about my new content marketing service.  Without asking anyone, they just decided to repay me for the free help I provide here on the blog, by sharing my new service with their friends and contacts.

Of course, their kindness has not gone unnoticed.  I remember those who help me, just like you remember those who help you.  This is one of the wonderful things about helping others.  Every time we do, we plant a seed that has the opportunity to blossom into something magical.

The reciprocity mindset is NOT just about personal or professional gain and if you think it is, you are totally missing the point!

It’s simply an amazing way to proceed through business and life.  It’s the attitude of contribution.  It’s about building relationships with great people, by instigating the process of giving.

It’s beautiful.

It’s simple.

It costs nothing.

It’s also a wonderful way to build a rewarding life and a fantastic business!

Improve your cash flow with this 1 important marketing tip

Have you ever had clients, who refused to pay you on time?  If you have, you may find this post extremely useful!

Marketing and cash flow

The easiest way to avoid these low-value clients from hurting your business, is not to work with them in the first place.  I have not had a late payer in 15 years, because I don’t target those idiots with my marketing.  As a direct result, the clients I attract are people like you; professional people who don’t accept services, knowing they can’t pay for them.  If you want to attract great clients, read this!

Make no mistake, those selfish bastards will ruin you, if you decide to work with them.  The reality is that more businesses go broke because of bad cash flow, than because of a lack of earnings.

I was prompted to write this post, after a wonderful person who wanted to work with me lost her place, because of money owed to her, which was massively overdue.  She has lost an amazing opportunity, all because a major client of hers decided (yet again) that he was going to make her wait months and months and months for money he owes her.  She believes she needs his business.  I believe she doesn’t.  No one needs clients like that.

Professional marketing repels deliberate late payers

Professional marketing includes setting the scene with prospective clients, so they know what to expect when working with you.  This includes making it clear, that you are not prepared to work with deliberate late payers.  Deliberate late payers are those people, who have the funds to pay you, but elect not to; either as a power trip or because THEY think YOU are just not important enough. Let me reiterate: I’m not referring to someone, who is very occasionally a little late paying you.  I’m talking about those who believe it’s perfectly OK to deliberately withhold your money.  I have met many hard working people, who went broke thanks to deliberate late payers starving them of essential cash flow.

You don’t lose anything of value, by repelling those assholes before they can hurt your business.  In fact, it is impossible to grow a successful business, working with deliberate late payers.  They kill your finances, drain your energy and leave you unable to invest in the essential services your business needs, in order to grow.

Developing a great client base of people who value you, respect you and PAY you, is one of the best reasons to invest in professional marketing.

Just Launched: The Content Marketing Program

Today, I’m excited to announce the launch of a brand new service, my Content Marketing Program.

The program runs for a whole year.  During our year together, I will show you how to attract high quality clients and inquiries, based on the incredible power of content marketing.  Working with you on a one-to-one basis, I will show you how to use tools like blogging, newsletters, and email marketing etc; to attract targeted inquiries from your ideal profile of client.

It works – Look!

The very fact that you are reading this right now, along with thousands of other business owners, proves how successfully you can reach the right people, with content marketing.  Notice how I knew you were a business owner? That’s because when you use content marketing correctly, as I do here on this blog, you ensure that your messages reach the right people – LOTS of them too!

What kind of tangible results are possible?

In February, I wrote a short blog post, regarding a place that had unexpectedly become available on my Marketing Mentor Program.  In less than 24 hours, that post generated 92 genuine inquiries for the remaining place!

Based on my typical conversion rate, I could have generated at least £90,000 in fees; if I had enough places to fill, just from that single post!

On my Content Marketing Program, I will show you exactly how I did that and how you can put the same super-powerful strategies in place for your business!

I will also show you how I used Content Marketing to generate almost £130,000 in client fees and product sales from this blog last year.

Just imagine what a difference that could make to you and your business.

By the way, if you are the kind of person, who prefers to attract business inquiries, rather than chase people for business, you will find this program especially valuable.

How it works: A quick overview

The program is tailored around your unique needs, resources and goals, so we start off with an initial fact-finding meeting.  This meeting is conducted like all our meetings, via Skype or phone.  We look at exactly where you are right now and then examine what you want to achieve; your goals and business targets etc.

Then, I work with you over the following 12 months, to develop a Content Marketing strategy, to get you from where you are now, to where you want to be.  I will provide you with all the guidance, coaching, support (and clarity) you need; all included in the program’s price.

That’s right: One set fee which covers everything, for the whole year.

Find out more

If you genuinely want to start attracting high quality clients, the way I do here on this blog, I’d love to hear from you.

Simply email me on jim (at) jimsmarketingblog.com (with your contact details) or call me on (+44) 1427 891274, and I will happily answer any questions you have, in complete confidence. Obviously, there are a limited number of places available, so get in touch as soon as you can, to avoid disappointment.  My full contact details are here.

I look forward to hearing from you!

3 reasons why I love helping you and your business!

As yesterday’s post was all about content marketing, I thought today would be the perfect time to explain why I invest so much of my time, sharing ideas and insights with you, here on the blog.

Here are 3 reasons that came to mind immediately.

1.  As a fellow business owner, I respect you

Only a small minority of people have the courage to start up a business.  Whilst there is no ceiling on what you can earn when you are your own boss, there’s no floor either! It takes guts to leave the regular world of salaried employment, for the uncertainty of working for yourself.  You are my kind of person.  We both started out with no guarantees, yet we did it anyway.

It’s a LOT easier writing for people, when they have earned your respect.

2.  I value you and what you have to say

Successful blogging is all about communication, rather than broadcasting.  It’s about the 2-way or multi-way flow of information between people.  Whilst I give a lot of valuable information away here, I receive a lot too.

Your comments, emails, tweets and Facebook messages etc, are of huge value to me.  Through them, I have met people I would never have known.  I have discovered answers and insights, that have been invaluable.  I have found fantastic websites, which I had never heard of before.  I have discovered products and services, which have been of enormous value to me and my business.

Most importantly, I have made a lot of friends all over the world.  If you are a reader of the blog and have not got in touch with me, please do so.  I reply to every email and phone call.  You can email me at jim (at) jimsmarketingblog.com

3. Blogging is commercially rewarding

Business blogging, when handled correctly, can be extremely rewarding for your business.  For instance, by focusing on providing you with as much useful, valuable information as I can, I attract valuable business inquiries all the time.

A perfect example of this happened yesterday.  Yesterday’s post was all about content marketing and at the very end of the post, I mentioned that I am launching a new, content marketing program.  That post alone, was enough for a reader to call me and get the very first place on the new program!  She loved what she saw, like the idea of attracting clients rather than chasing them, and called to book her place.  Ironically, her inquiry and subsequent decision to work with me for a year, is a perfect example of the power of content marketing!  I will be giving details on the new content marketing program in a few days.  If you can’t wait, get in touch!

If you find the blog useful, rest assured that I will continue to work as hard as I can, to be of as much service as I can, to you and your business!

How to massively improve your online marketing results, the easy way!

Do you prefer to attract client inquiries and leads, rather than having to sell your services?

If you do, then content marketing is exactly what you and your business need.  Content marketing is where you use blogs (like this one) or newsletters, podcasts or webinars etc, as a way to deliver valuable information, which gains the attention of your prospective clients.  Then, over a period of time, you get to position yourself as an expert in your field, to thousands of prospective clients.

Content marketing is extremely effective, it costs very little and the results can be amazing, life changing even!  Moreover, the results get better and better over time, as your audience and influence increases.

In today’s post, I am going to share one of the secrets behind the world’s most successful content marketing.  To begin, I am going to answer the 2 most common content marketing questions, which people ask me.  Here they are:

  1. How much free information should I give away?
  2. What quality of information is “just too good” for me to blog about or include for free in my newsletter, webinar or podcast?

Here are the short answers to those questions:

  1. You should give away as much free information as you can.
  2. You should give away as much value as you can.

Allow me to explain!

Content marketing and me

Back in 1995, my fellow marketing professionals said I was crazy for giving away so much marketing information for free.  This was before the Internet went mainstream, so I delivered my free content marketing via; radio shows, magazine articles, public speaking and networking groups.  I then established an enormously successful marketing newsletter, before moving on to blogging.

In short: I gave and gave and gave.  Then, I gave some more.

The more I gave away, the more I was accused of committing commercial suicide.

The more I gave away, the more high quality business I generated!

Here’s one thing that has not changed, over my 16 years in content marketing:  Most people only give snippets of information away for free, or information which they believe is not good enough to charge for.  Their belief is that by giving “the good stuff” away for free, it will reduce their income.  This is the exact opposite of what actually happens!

Here’s why.

By putting a diluted version of their content out there for free, they showcase themselves as being less effective than they really are.  The marketplace positions them in their mind as an average provider, because the free information they give away is average.  They are under-marketing themselves and their abilities.  For content marketing to work, your free material needs to be good enough to inspire people to subscribe to you, get in touch with you and link to you.  It also needs to be compelling enough to motivate people to share your blog, newsletter or whatever, with their social network. People will only do that when the information they receive is valuable enough.

I have never held back information from this blog, in case it’s too valuable to give away for free.  You know what though?  I do the opposite all the time.  I often refuse to publish posts here, because they are just not good enough for you.  That’s a fundamental of successful content marketing.  Give away as much high quality information as you can, and attract the attention, interest and respect of your marketplace.  Show them what you know.

Content marketing and your business

If you like the idea of attracting clients (rather than pursuing them) and want to know more about content marketing, I have some GREAT news for you!  I shall be making a very special announcement shortly, regarding an exciting, new content marketing program.  This is NOT the typical; ebook, premium blog content and a few webinars – It’s the chance for you and I to work together, 1-to-1, on the development of the perfect content marketing strategy for you and your business. 

If you want to know more, keep an extra close eye on the blog over the coming days!

This mindset will crush your business

Are we blocking our own success, without even knowing it?

I speak with business owners all the time, who work long hours; yet because their mindset is wrong, they make little meaningful progress.  To explain what I mean, I want you to consider the following question.  It’s a question that we all ask ourselves, usually unconsciously.  Your answer will show what your current mindset is and whether it’s likely to work for you or against you.  Here’s the question:

Do you do whatever is required, to make your business as successful as it can possibly be OR do you do less than you’re capable of and just see what happens?

The mindset that crushes businesses (and dreams)

Many business owners, most of them in fact, do far less than they are truly capable of.  They never invest their full potential into their business.

Their mindset, is that they should hold back.  They often work long hours, but they work those hours doing the stuff they are comfortable with.  Only during times of crisis, are they prepared to crank it up a gear or two.  Then, once the crisis is averted, they go back onto autopilot.  In essence, these business owners only work with the correct mindset, when they have a problem.

The mindset of success

A far smaller group of business owners, decide to do everything they can in order to succeed.  They are curious to learn just what they are capable of.

Their mindset, if that doing just enough is never enough.  They constantly wonder; how far can I take this? Their passion and energy is contagious.  It not only powers them forward, it encourages others to join them and invest in their ideas.  This mindset is shared by every high achieving person I have ever met.

The fear of failure guarantees failure

It’s often said that the fear of failure is what stops people from really giving their all.  I have never understood the logic, but it suggests that by not putting everything we can into our business, we can console ourselves by saying; “well, I wasn’t REALLY trying!”, if that business then fails.

Here’s the problem with that approach:  The odds on us just coasting along, then suddenly being interrupted by success, are zero.  We must invest everything into our businesses, even the things we find challenging, if we want our business to deliver the rewards and lifestyle, which we want for our families and ourselves.  No one coasts their way to success.

Today, choose to give your business everything you can.

Then tomorrow, do the same.

If you are going to get stuck in a rut, make it this rut!

Hope!

Here’s a message of genuine, authentic, real-world hope:

Everything you have right now, from the tangible to the intangible, is there because of who you are.  To change your circumstances, you need to change yourself.

The lesson here is magical.  It offers us real hope.  No matter how bad things are, this fundamental truth assures us that by becoming more than we are, we can have more than we have.  But the process always starts with us.

I know from the emails I receive, that many of you are going through extremely tough times right now.  Please, never, ever give up.

If you are going without in any area of your life right now, the answer is to look within.

Grow your business with this beautifully simple idea!

Everything you do or neglect to do, has an impact on your business.

The impact is always positive or negative.  Nothing in business is neutral.  A casual remark, the decision not to attend a meeting, a quick email or social media update  – All of these will impact your business, to a lesser or greater extent.  Everything counts.

Here’s what my mentor, Jim Rohn, used to say:

Success is neither magical nor mysterious. Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying the basic fundamentals.

Failure is not a single, cataclysmic event. You don’t fail overnight. Instead, failure is a few errors in judgement, repeated every day.

The simple things you do every day are far more likely to influence your eventual outcome, than the less frequent major decisions you apply so much thought to.  Get the basics right and repeat them every day.

So simple.

So magical.

So easy to do.

So easy to ignore.

Twitter: How I attracted more traffic and more followers by doing less

As a marketing guy, I am always testing ways to make things more effective.  What follows is my experience, after a simple 5 day Twitter experiment, which was just a bit of fun, yet led to some interesting results and totally changed the way I use Twitter!

Here’s what I did and what the results were:

I elected not to tweet any links to this blog and then see what impact it had on my traffic.

Here is what happened.  By the way, you can join me on Twitter here.

Traffic from Twitter

Before I started, I expected to see a slight drop in traffic from Twitter.  Surely, if I am not Tweeting links here, fewer people would know about my posts – right?

Wrong!

Instead, traffic from Twitter increased by close to 300% over those 5 days.  This is reflected in the diagram later in the post.  Now, on the first few days, I sent a tweet out, which alerted people that I was not tweeting links to new posts here.  Obviously, those tweets had no links in them and didn’t generate additional traffic, as I monitored real-time traffic from Twitter and there was no measurable increase.  The reason was simply to let people know that nothing was wrong .

So, why the increase in traffic?

It seems this blogs readers and my Twitter “followers” picked up the slack!  Knowing I wasn’t tweeting links to my posts here, they did it for me.  Now, I am not sure how this would pan out if I carried the experiment out over 6 months, but certainly over the 5 days, my online network were a lot more active in promoting my posts.  I also saw lots of new faces showing up in my Twitter stream; people sharing my posts, who I had never heard of or seen previously.

Tuesday saw the highest traffic day to this blog in its history.  This was the result of several factors, ranging from some well connected Facebook and Twitter users sharing that days post, (which ironically was how to get more traffic using Twitter) and that post being featured on a number of popular sites, including webpronews. I have looked to see if these events could be traced to the experiment and it’s impossible to say yes or no with 100% certainty.

I am not a big believer in coincidences and I believe it’s entirely possible that with so many new people sharing my posts this week, it brought my blog to the attention of those publishers, Twitter users and Facebook users.

Here’s what happened to traffic as a result, compared to the past 6 months:

Blog subscriber numbers

One of the challenges with using Twitter to inform people of your latest posts, is that you eliminate the need for your followers, to subscribe to your blog.  In essence, you are training them not to subscribe to your primary social hub! If they decide to stop using Twitter or you decide to drop it for the next big thing, you can lose a lot of readers, very quickly.

For me, this alone is a good reason NOT to train people to use Twitter as the way to subscribe to your blog.

Some caveats

This was just a fun experiment, carried out over a very short time-scale; rather than the kind of marketing research I would carry out to get the heavy detail required for a fully-fledged project.  You should NOT use these conclusions as the basis of a change in your own Twitter use!

It is also extremely important to mention that the results would have looked VERY different, if I did not already have lots of great people, who regularly share this blog with their followers.  In addition, Twitter accounts for a tiny amount of my daily visitors here, behind; Google, RSS, Facebook, back links and Stumbleupon.  Once my largest source of traffic, Twitter has grown slower than all my other marketing channels.  In other words, I wasn’t risking much.

As I hope I have made very clear, this brief experiment was intended to see what the short-term results would be, by not using Twitter to share my new posts each day.  I had no idea that the results over such a short period, would be so interesting; which is why I intend to change my Twitter use over the longer term now, as I explain in a moment.

I find it interesting that the past 5 days coincided with my best traffic day ever and a sharp increase in follower numbers, see below.  Note, the numbers were increasing fastest from the 13th, not the 12th, which was the heavy traffic day.

Conclusions

For now, I have decided to only share posts on Twitter, which are related to Twitter (like this one) or posts that I believe have particular relevance to the people I connect with there.  Previously, I shared every post on Twitter twice: Once in the morning and again in the afternoon or evening.

I’m really curious how the numbers will look, over a longer period.  Any marketing professional worth their salt will tell you that you need good data to reach accurate conclusions.  On something like this, you need to be working with a larger set of data.  I will, of course, share my findings with you.

So, for the foreseeable future, I will be using my Twitter time primarily to share YOUR great posts and connect more with you.

IMPORTANT:  If you usually catch up with my latest posts via Twitter and don’t want to miss anything, subscribe to the blog or get new posts delivered direct to your inbox, using the “Free Updates” box at the top right of this page.

Turn your frustrations into pure gold with this really simple step

How hard do you look for the gold, in the challenges that face your business?

Most people experience a problem and then dig around until they get it resolved.

Smart people experience a problem and then get the help they need to quickly solve it.  This is faster and the solution is usually far better too.

Super-smart people experience a problem and then get the help they need to quickly solve it.  They then look for the gold. It’s this final step, looking for the gold, which makes all the difference to their results!

Commercial gold dust

There are very few, if any, business problems, which do not come with some kind of valuable lesson.  When we look for the lesson and then learn from it, it’s like finding gold.  These lessons are of enormous value and combine to help us develop a golden reserve of essential knowledge.  This knowledge can then be invested into helping us make better and better decisions, which is the starting point of our commercial progress.

Compare that approach to those whose businesses reach a plateau, because they keep repeating the same errors.  They make no real progress, because they fail to learn.  They don’t look for the golden lessons, they prefer to blame their luck and other people, for their lack of success.  For example, they blame lousy customers for being a pain in the ass to work with, rather than looking at why their marketing attracted that lousy customer and why they were unable to see that the person was unsuitable.  It’s never their fault, so they learn nothing and repeat the same frustrating errors.

All the time we are learning, we have the opportunity to improve; to be more than we are today.  That’s where the gold is!Photo: Brian Giesen